Medicare vs. Medicaid: What’s the Difference?

August 15, 2023
Medicare vs. Medicaid: What’s the Difference?

Do you know the differences between Medicare and Medicaid? If not, you probably aren’t the only one.

Before open enrollment starts, you might have some questions about which program you qualify for — or if you qualify for either. Here are some key differences to help you. You can also learn more at

Medicare is a federal program. Medicaid is a state and federal program. 

Medicare was put in place by the federal government. It is geared toward helping older Americans living on fixed incomes get healthcare. 

Medicaid is a joint program between the federal and state governments. It is meant to help families and people with lower incomes and jobs that do not provide health insurance get healthcare.

Medicare has standardized coverages and costs. Medicaid’s costs and coverages fluctuate.

Since Medicare is a federal program, its costs and coverages do not change between states. Its eligibility requirements are also standardized. 

The eligibility requirements for Medicaid can change based on the state you live in and your income. Medicaid also has different coverages than Medicare. In some cases, more expenses are covered through Medicaid.

Medicare is typically based on age. Medicaid is typically based on income.

Medicare is available to Americans aged 65 and older, along with a few people under 65 who have certain disabilities. As a result, those who qualify have some of their medical expenses covered by one of two government trust funds. They pay the rest through monthly premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Medicaid tends to cover most healthcare costs since it’s usually based on income, but those who qualify owe some small co-payments on specific items and services. 

Are you still not sure whether you qualify for Medicare or Medicaid? Visit and to learn more. You can also learn more at